I’m not the best gardener,
yet this plant and it’s twin I purchased last year are far from the bushy container the tag promised.
The feeling of disappointment surges through me when I look at the scraggly plants on my deck.
Wondering what went wrong.
Where is the hoped for blooms and foliage which would be a waiting the passerby to enjoy?
Was it lacking water?
Does it need food?
What is missing?
Maybe it’s bigger than any of those things.
Because the picture of a plant which refuses to produce is an illustration of spiritual things.
At times my will stands up inside me and refuses to be the gentle, meek, humble, kind, and soft spoken: the woman I know I’ve been called to be.
Instead my attitude is scraggly and the blooms of joy and peace are so few it seems difficult to find them.
The mornings which hold leftover resentment, hurt, or jealousy.
The times when my inner desires follow the rough and crude path of self indulgence, self pity, and indignation.
It all makes me think of the Fig tree.
Jesus told a parable about a fig tree which refused to produce and was in danger of being ripped out and thrown into the fire for it was a waste to tend something which wouldn’t produce.
And yet the fig tree is given time and attention in the hopes it would produce a crop.
So is true for my attitudes and will.
If I find myself in a place where I’m producing little or no fruit of the Spirit then it’s a warning that I’ve neglected to tend to the soil of my heart.
Am I in my Bible or did I simply read it as a duty?
What did I pray for today?
How have I allowed my thoughts to lead my emotions?
Where is the lack of the Lord in my life which has lead to my inner rebellion?
Am I unwilling to love?
And if so, why?
Just like my pots and the Fig tree in the parable,
it takes digging around to discover what’s missing.
It’s dirty work,
for it leads to fruit
of the best kind:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self – control…”